BATH-The Van Wert Cougars travelled to Bath High School on Friday night for Western Buckeye League football action against the Bath Wildcats. The Cougars shut out Bath to pick up the 33-0 victory on a rainy night.

Friday night win over Bath was the first time since 2008 that Van Wert beat Bath on the road.

The Cougars defense forced a three and out on Bath’s first drive. Van Wert offense scored a touchdown with a one yard dive by quarterback Nate Place with 8:00 left in the first quarter. TJ Reynolds added the point after to put the Cougars up 7-0.

The second drive for Lima Bath ended after a 32 yard pass as Cyrus Burden to Lex Boedicker. Boedicker fumbled the ball and Van Wert recovered the pig skin.

Van Wert couldn’t turn the turnover into points. But the Cougars found pay dirt again with 4:07 left in the first quarter as Place went 45 yards for a touchdown on a one play scoring drive, 13-0 Van Wert.

The Cougars had a bit of misfortune during a drive that spanned the end of the first quarter and the start of the second period. Place got hurt on a third down run for a first down. Owen Treece took control of the Van Wert offense as Place night was done after that run.

“It’s the same shoulder that has been bothering him (Place) for a little bit,” said Van Wert football coach Keith Recker. “We are going to have to take to Doctor Jones and our trainer but Nate is a tough kid if he can go he will go. If not we will get Owen ready.”

Treece moved Van Wert into first and goal from the eight yard line but couldn’t convert on fourth down. The Cougar defense forced a strip sack and recovered the fumble in the end zone for a Van Wert touchdown with 4:49 left in the first half.

Van Wert took a 19-0 lead into intermission and the Cougars defense got a turnover to start the second half. Tanner Barnhart’s interception allowed Van Wert offense to score after two long runs from Jake Hilleary.

Treece later found Dru Johnson for a seven yard touchdown pass with 2:55 left in the third quarter, 26-0. The Cougars picked up another score in the fourth quarter as Hilleary dashed into the end zone from 25 yards out with 3:44 left in the game. Reynolds added the extra point to put Van Wert up 33-0.

The Cougar defense sealed their shut out as Clayton Profit picked off Burden with just seconds left in the contest.

“This was good for Owen even though Bath doesn’t have a good record,” added coach Recker. “They are in the top half of the WBL in defense. So defensive they are solid and they have just struggle on offense. It was good for Owen to get into the game and get some experience.”

Van Wert improves to 6-2 on the season and 5-2 in the WBL. The win on Friday night guaranteed this Cougar team would have the best record for Van Wert football in 15 years. The Wildcats drop to 0-8 on the year and 0-7 in the WBL.